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Josh Beckett vs. Yankees (UPDATED)

Posted by Andy on August 10, 2010

Ed: see comments below for how Beckett ranks all-time against the Yankees.

Without comment, here are Josh Beckett's starts in 2009-10 against the Yankees:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2010-08-08 BOS NYY L 2-7 GS-5 ,L 4.2 11 7 7 2 6 1 105 64 18
2 2010-05-18 BOS NYY W 7-6 GS-5 4.2 5 5 3 3 6 1 101 56 41
3 2010-05-07 BOS NYY L 3-10 GS-6 ,L 5.1 9 9 9 3 8 1 106 66 19
4 2010-04-04 BOS NYY W 9-7 GS-5 4.2 8 5 5 3 1 2 94 54 26
5 2009-08-23 BOS NYY L 4-8 GS-8 ,L 8.0 9 8 8 0 5 5 120 87 37
6 2009-08-07 BOS NYY L 0-2 GS-7 7.0 4 0 0 2 7 0 115 71 74
7 2009-06-09 BOS NYY W 7-0 GS-6 ,W 6.0 1 0 0 2 8 0 93 59 76
8 2009-05-05 BOS NYY W 7-3 GS-7 ,W 6.0 10 3 3 1 5 1 108 72 44
9 2009-04-25 BOS NYY W 16-11 GS-5 5.0 10 8 8 4 3 2 116 70 14
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/9/2010.

18 Responses to “Josh Beckett vs. Yankees (UPDATED)”

  1. BSK Says:

    I believe they said something during the broadcast yesterday about him having the worst opposing ERA vs the Yankees in history over a certain amount of games/seasons. Interesting, especially given how he dominated them in the WS that year.

  2. Andy Says:

    Check out the worst ERA against the Yankees, minimum 19 starts since 1955:

    The full list is here, but the top 10 are:

    Rk Player #Matching W L W-L% ERA ▾ GS IP H ER HR BB SO WHIP
    1 Josh Beckett 21 Ind. Games 9 7 .563 6.23 21 125.2 148 87 20 49 108 1.57
    2 Tom Brewer 27 Ind. Games 6 15 .286 5.79 27 161.2 190 104 19 80 102 1.67
    3 Pat Hentgen 23 Ind. Games 7 12 .368 5.67 23 141.1 177 89 14 65 96 1.71
    4 Bobby Witt 27 Ind. Games 9 13 .409 5.66 27 151.0 163 95 19 85 122 1.64
    5 Bruce Hurst 26 Ind. Games 10 9 .526 5.58 26 156.1 211 97 17 58 95 1.72
    6 Dennis Eckersley 25 Ind. Games 6 15 .286 5.52 25 161.1 172 99 36 51 112 1.38
    7 Rodrigo Lopez 21 Ind. Games 9 7 .563 5.51 21 127.1 148 78 28 42 97 1.49
    8 Mike Moore 24 Ind. Games 8 13 .381 5.42 24 144.1 164 87 18 58 95 1.54
    9 Dennis Martinez 24 Ind. Games 1 16 .059 5.36 24 144.1 158 86 23 63 59 1.53
    10 Wilson Alvarez 20 Ind. Games 6 6 .500 5.32 20 110.0 108 65 21 71 84 1.63
    Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 8/10/2010.
  3. Andy Says:

    Incidentally, the table above was found using our Play Index, but I need to credit Elias for digging up a similar stat which I heard on the radio and I think was published in the Boston Globe.

  4. Andy Says:

    Also the table above is regular-season only and does not include Beckett's 16.1 IP with a 1.10 ERA in the 2003 World Series.

  5. Esteban Says:

    I think Josh Beckett has been pretty overrated for much of his career. How many 'great' seasons has he actually had?

  6. Michael E Sullivan Says:

    None, that I can see. Maybe 2007 is close. He's got a few other very good seasons (clearly above average), but that's the only one where he was seriously in play for a cy, and three guys behind him in the voting had better years by every metric except W/L (being on the third best offensive team in the league is kinda helpful to the W/L).

    He has no 5+ WAR seasons.

  7. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I think '07 is a great season especially when you consider his postseason.

    He still may be a guy who has some big seasons ahead of him. Pitchers age more unpredictably than hitters. He didn't get overworked as a young guy, saved perhaps by the constant blister problems. I think his stuff is still there and he's certainly shown the potential to be a dominant pitcher in stretches. Perhaps he'll have a nice run in his 30s. Or maybe not.

  8. Esteban Says:

    Exactly. I think a lot of people have looked at his stuff and a couple of great postseasons and have concluded he's a great pitcher. The mainstream press certainly has anyway, not that they're a great measure of anything though.

  9. Bryan Mueller Says:

    I think when you dominate a team like the Yankees in the World Series, you tend to get labeled as a great pitcher, even if you don't live up to the expectations. Beckett's stuff can no doubt be nasty, but his stuff isn't (compared to greats) consistently nasty. I would guess that if the Padres made the World Series and Mat Latos threw two complete-game shutouts in route to a Padres WS win, he would have the same hype Beckett did.

  10. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I need to credit Elias for digging up a similar stat

    No, Andy, you don't. But it's very gracious of you to do so.

    I would guess that if the Padres made the World Series and Mat Latos threw two complete-game shutouts in route to a Padres WS win, he would have the same hype Beckett did.

    I would dearly love to find out whether this is true. (-;þ

  11. Basmati Says:

    I thought Esteban's comment above was a bit harsh but when I looked I was surprised to see Beckett's record is not as good as I might have thought given the hype he gets.

    Based on this I would say Beckett is a very good pitcher with the ability to be great, but he has not performed consistently great. Beckett's W-L will be boosted by playing for Boston but then his ERA will take a bit of a pounding playing in the AL East (although he doesn't have to face Boston).

    I have to say I find baseball contracts hard to fathom sometimes. Beckett was on under $7m in 2007 when he had a great year at age 27. Yet he is contracted to earn $15.75m each of the next 4 years at age 31-34. I know pitchers can go on a long time but on current form you have to wonder if the Red Sox are getting nervous about that? Especially considering John Lackey hasn't worked out too great so far and he's due $15.25m each of the next 4 years also. That's $31m for 4 years to two pitchers who have not performed well this year. Lackey has a career 5.12 ERA at Fenway and Beckett 4.60.

    Good job they've got Lester signed up cheap until 2014.

  12. Andy Says:

    Kahuna, there has been at least one documented case of Elias throwing B-R under the bus, back before we had access to box scores going all the way back to 1920. If that's how they want to play this rivalry, fine--but I'm not going to play the same game. If someone from Elias were to read this post and perceive that I was poaching their finds, that would needlessly fan the flames of a fire that I (and I think nobody from B-R) has any interest in starting.

    Just to be clear, I give Elias all the credit in the world for what they've achieved. Now they have some fair competition from this web site and the Play Index, but that doesn't detract from my admiration for their work.

  13. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    My comment about Elias came off sounding more caustic than I wanted, Andy. Far be it from me to fan flames or encourage data poaching. You're right that Elias deserves credit for all the good (and difficult) work that they've done. I'm sure they've lighted the path for B-Ref in a number of ways. Most of my admiration is reserved for this site, though — y'all let me loiter here at no charge, and I don't have to be an employee or an official something-or-other of a major-league team to research neat stuff. Till Elias does the same thing, they'll have to risk my occasional snarky comments . . . though nothing worse than that.

  14. Gerry Says:

    I note that three of the ten pitchers have winning records against the Yanks despite the huge ERAs, and one more is 6-6. Doesn't work if your first name is Dennis.

  15. 8+ ER in 8+ IP » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] You Are Here > > Blog > Baseball Stats and Analysis Baseball Reference Blog Numbers, News, and Notes « Josh Beckett vs. Yankees (UPDATED) [...]

  16. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    As a follow-up to Andy's post #2, here are the 1920s-1930s pitchers with the ten worst ERAs against the Yankees, minimum 19 starts:

    Vern Kennedy: 26 G, 19 GS, 7.39 ERA
    George Blaeholder: 56 G, 33 GS, 6.49 ERA
    Jack Knott: 44 G, 23 GS, 6.30 ERA
    Danny MacFayden: 30 G, 21 GS, 6.11 ERA
    Vic Sorrell: 48 G, 41 GS, 6.08 ERA
    Elden Auker: 42 G, 27 GS, 5.98 ERA
    Roy Mahaffey: 42 G, 23 GS, 5.80 ERA
    Red Ruffing: 24 G, 19 GS, 5.65 ERA and a 1-16 W-L record
    Tommy Thomas: 47 G, 27 GS, 5.63 ERA
    Oral Hildebrand: 31 G, 25 GS, 5.59 ERA

    Milt Gaston's and Slim Harriss's 5.38 career ERAs against the Yankees don't rate a mention here, but their respective 4-26 and 6-19 W-L records against them do. Bob Weiland was 0-11. It's unbelievable how many pitchers from those years have their worst career records and/or ERAs against the Yankees.

    Doesn't work if your first name is Dennis.

    Denny Galehouse (1934-49): 63 G, 38 GS, 3.31 ERA against the Yankees — his best against any opposing team. His Yankee Stadium ERA and WHIP were the best he compiled in any ballpark.

    The Yanks' domination of starting pitchers named Dennis might be the single biggest change that has taken place in baseball since the expansion era began. Then again, it might not.

  17. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    The 1920s-30s stats shown in my previous post are for all pitcher appearances, not just starts. Vern Kennedy's numbers are sufficiently gruesome that I decided to delve into his starts against the Yankees. You may cringe when ready.

    4 W, 13 L (.235 Pct.), 7.46 ERA
    19 GS, 101.1 IP, 124 H
    84 ER
    15 HR
    68 BB, 37 SO
    1.89 WHIP

    In seven starts during the 1939 and 1940 seasons (career starts 9 to 15 against the Yankees), Kennedy four times left the game after having retired only one batter. Ouch.

    It was a later pitcher, Bill Kennedy, whose career, as Bill James remarked, effectively ended when he was traded to the Browns. The same could be said of Vern Kennedy, whose overall numbers were not especially good (95 ERA+ in just over 2,000 IP), but who at least pitched creditably in his starts against the mighty Yankees during his White Sox and Tigers years (2-5, too many walks but less than a hit per inning, 4.60 ERA). After he was acquired by the Browns, the Yankees made him look like a rank amateur, especially in his nine starts against them in 1939-40 (2-6, 57 H and 27 BB in 37 IP, 11.19 ERA). Vern Kennedy never allowed fewer than four runs in any of his 19 career starts against New York, which sounds awful; but what truly is awful is that, after 1938, in eight of his 11 starts against the Yankees, Kennedy allowed more earned runs than innings pitched.

    Kennedy at least could plead the excuse that he had some miserable teams behind him. Josh Beckett can't fall back on that. One other thing about Beckett: His 6.23 career ERA against the Yankees is not the worst he has posted against another team in his division. His career ERA against the Blue Jays is over 7.00 in 13 career starts.

  18. Card of the Week: 1955 Bowman #178 Tom Brewer » Baseball-Reference Blog » Blog Archive Says:

    [...] chose Tom Brewer as my subject because he came up second on my list of worst ERAs against the Yankees since 1955. Brewer also pitched in 1954 and his overall record against the Yankees isn't [...]